Ovulation Timing

Proper ovulation timing is key for improved conception rates and maximum litter size. Regardless of the method of breeding used, understanding ovulation timing and the information it provides helps to determine optimal breeding dates.
Ovulation timing allows us to:

  • use fresh, chilled or frozen semen
  • use semen from an older dog
  • use reduced quality semen with greater success
  • accurately predict whelping dates

When scheduling your bitch for ovulation timing, expect your first appointment to include a digital vaginal exam, vaginal cytology and a blood draw for progesterone levels. A vaginal exam is done to make sure there are no anatomical abnormalities such as vaginal strictures or growths. Vaginal cytology helps make sure we are consistent with the expected day of the heat cycle. Vaginal cytology alone is not an accurate method for breeding timing; however, in conjunction with progesterone testing, it will provide added information and increase the likelihood of a successful breeding and conception.

Following your first appointment, we will call you that afternoon with the progesterone level and instructions as to when to return for further testing or breeding. It is important that we have a phone number where you can be reached that afternoon to avoid problems due to the time sensitive nature of progesterone testing. Subsequent appointments will usually only involve a blood draw for progesterone. We must have the blood taken from the bitch before 11 a.m. to ensure same day results.

For more information on Ovulation Timing, please see our summary document by clicking here.